Stoffel Vandoorne will be a Mercedes Formula 1 simulator driver

Stoffel Vandoorne will forge close links with the Mercedes Formula 1 team in 2019 when he takes up a simulator driver role alongside his HWA Formula E racing programme

Stoffel Vandoorne will be a Mercedes Formula 1 simulator driver

HWA's FE effort is a precursor to Mercedes taking over the entry for the 2019/20 season, and Vandoorne's drive there was encouraged by Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff.

Why Formula E is the best stage for Vandoorne's comeback

Vandoorne is now set to share Mercedes F1 simulator duties with Esteban Ocon, who will be the team's reserve driver.

"I'll be doing the simulator work in the F1 team for them, with Mercedes," said Vandoorne.

"That's an exciting part for me as well, to still be involved in the F1 world, to be with the world champions as well.

"It will be a very interesting move. I'm sure I can bring them a lot of fresh ideas, but also for me to see the differences there are, because I've only been at work with McLaren in F1.

"It's exciting for me as well to kind of have a bit of a fresh environment."

Vandoorne hopes that by staying up to speed with current cars he will be able to find a way back into F1.

"It's definitely good to keep involved in the [F1] world, because we never know what happens in the future," he said.

"To be involved with Mercedes and to perform the work for them is good, they will know exactly what I'm capable of doing.

"We don't know what the driver market is going to do in the future.

"It was a bit crazy this season, and who knows what it will be in the future? It's hard to tell.

"It's good to be involved and be prepared for anything that comes up."

Vandoorne is adamant that the FE programme is the best career step that he could have taken after F1 opportunities ran out.

"I had a lot of discussions with Toto, and their whole project, as it's Mercedes, was very attractive," he said.

"For me what was important to be involved with a manufacturer, and to be linked with Mercedes and involved on that kind of level was attractive.

"When Mercedes sign up to something they always do it properly, and I'm 100% sure they are going to put a lot of effort into that programme as well."

Vandoorne said his final race with McLaren in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix "will obviously be a special weekend, with a bit of mixed feeling".

He added: "I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible. I think I've had a pretty good run lately, in the last couple of races, and I want to continue that to finish off the season.

"I'm not really looking behind anymore. I know a lot of things have happened, but I'm being thrown into the next thing straight away.

"I don't really have an off season, I'm going straight into Formula E."

shares
comments
Fernando Alonso: I might be desperate for F1 return by April 2019

Previous article

Fernando Alonso: I might be desperate for F1 return by April 2019

Next article

Ferrari set to try 2019 Formula 1 wing concept in Abu Dhabi

Ferrari set to try 2019 Formula 1 wing concept in Abu Dhabi
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021